Particular & Co founder Amy Salisbury left her job as a seafood buyer because she saw a gap in the market: the need for a small, sustainable and high-quality UK seafood brand.

“I felt that there was a better way of doing things," she told IntraFish. "I wanted fishermen and farmers to be paid fairly and I wanted a small business that could be flexible in order to make sustainable decisions."

Salisbury founded the company in 2019, so the early stages of the business have been developed during lockdowns and changing restrictions.

“The timing wasn’t all bad," she said. "The lockdowns allowed me to grow at a slower pace and really reconsider my decisions."

Salisbury had 15 years' of seafood experience prior to launching her company, including as a senior sales manager for Grieg Seafood's Ocean Quality.

"When I started out, I was young and naive," Salisbury said. "I dealt with several senior male buyers who made me feel insecure and was even called a 'stupid girl' once."

A lot has changed during the last 15 years, she said. "Today, I work with both men and women and I don’t feel the gender divide.”

Looking back, however, Salisbury wouldn't want to be without those early experiences because they ignited a drive to succeed in the sector. And despite the struggles, she wholeheartedly encourages other women to get into the seafood industry.

"This fantastic, dynamic industry has enabled me to achieve my career goals," she said.

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Green initiatives and next business steps

Grimsby-born Salisbury is handling all aspects of the business herself: packaging, marketing, selling, and buying.

While she's been keeping up so far, the next step is finding the right partner to help her grow the business, and Salisbury is on the hunt.

Key for her is finding a partner with ambitions for growth who also share her same sustainability-focused values.

The company is working on making its packaging more recyclable, with an ultimate aim of 100-percent recyclable packaging.

While converting salmon skin to plastic would be Salisbury's "utopia," the technology isn't there yet, she said.

Particular & Co. is currently test-marketing four products: prawns, salmon, smoked salmon and smoked hake. It is selling to 20 outlets that buy directly from farmers and smaller producers. It is also in talks with bigger retailers and will launch in a UK retail chain next summer.

“I want to share my love of fine fish and the natural world by sourcing and supplying professional-quality products to people who appreciate the difference."